Video surveillance is evolving in the era of the cloud, with the ability to collect feeds from remotely located cameras through Web-based links. Iveda Solutions is eyeing the opportunity, so to speak, with the appropriately named Pinpoint for mashing up online mapping services and live video feeds.
It’s a boon for law enforcement and security companies, but applications are increasingly being extended to monitoring and notification, which can have revenue-generating ramifications.
Obstacles to fully realizing the true potential of cloud-based video surveillance persist – namely, the ability to easily pinpoint the correct camera or group of cameras across multiple installations, the ability to aggregate the information into a central dashboard, and the integration of only static images or thumbnail feeds, thanks to bandwidth considerations.
The company is addressing these with what it calls a “video management system (VMS) consolidator and online mapping service that shows location of surveillance cameras on Google (News - Alert) Maps or other third-party mapping platforms.”
In other words, users can pull live streaming video feeds into a centralized repository – not on a thumbnail basis, either. Pinpoint eliminates the squint factor by offering full-sized, non-static feeds viewable across a range of broadband tiers.
“For any business or operation with multiple locations, access to traditional video systems usually requires separately logging into multiple systems,” the company explained. “With Pinpoint, accessing cameras is no longer through squares on a computer screen, but through an easy to use map interface, where you can have visibility of all your locations through cameras plotted on an online map. Live video of each location can be accessed by simply clicking on the camera marker on the map.”
Even better for, say, policemen on the street, by nature of being Web-based, it’s accessible from any Flash-enabled browser on a computer, smartphone or tablet.
The company took the software for a test drive with Pinkerton/Securita at the 2012 G8 summit/NATO meeting in Chicago – an event that sparked demonstrations across the city. Pinpoint was integrated into Pinkerton's Vigilance incident and trend data monitoring system, a cloud-based, situational awareness and risk aggregation service that gathers data and evaluates threats.
After successfully performing as advertised in that pilot, the company is rolling it out to a wider audience. A first customer is Farmacia de Similares in Mexico, will use Pinpoint, along with IvedaXpress, the company's video hosting service, to access video at their retail stores in Mexico.
The installation widens the purview for the technology. "Creative applications for cloud-video hosting, other than security and safety, have emerged,” said David Ly, president and CEO at Iveda Solutions. “Our customers are beginning to realize that it not only saves time, energy, and money, but it also promotes revenue-generating activities.”
Retail operations are, for instance, capable of conducting secret shopper initiatives using hosted cameras. Instant shelf inspection for low inventory can be accomplished without employees physically present at the stores, so restocking is accomplished sooner and more products are sold.
And store and endcap display and signage for special promotions can be virtually inspected at any location, on-demand from a computer or mobile device.
"Our company continues to innovate cloud video surveillance services that make sense, not only to save them money and provide them security, but also makes money for them," said Ly.Tara Seals has over thirteen years of experience as a journalist. Her areas of expertise cover the waterfront of the service provider segment, especially mobile networks, devices and applications; and video infrastructure, content and broadcast models.